Sarah doesn’t like flying with me. It might not be very relaxing, but I am good at getting luggage through airports. Today, I was flying alone to meet her.
Arriving at Edinburgh I was glad I had plenty of time to spare, since the Ryanair check-in desk team took no prisoners. With two bags, one weighing 8kgs and one 21kgs, I was looking at £120 excess baggage charge, which didn’t please me much at all. Unfortunately, one bag was a telescope tripod wrapped in a camping mat with duct tape which made distribution difficult. The foot-under-the-scales trick worked nicely first time around and brought the second bag down to an apparent 17kgs, but I still had to ditch 2kgs. I duct taped my kilt shoe bag to the tripod and started pulling out heavy clothes.
On the second weighing I couldn’t hold my foot still enough and the bag weight was fluctuating wildly. The woman was sharp and started calling her supervisor over because the scales were ‘malfunctioning’. I decided to stop in case I got caught and was left with another 4kgs to ditch. The usual appeals to me being wee and skinny were ignored, of course – “Sorry, it’s Ryanair!” was the familiar response. Fifteen minutes later I escaped, feeling much more heavily laden then when I arrived.
Security were friendly, chatting about the metal in my back and the telescope in my hand luggage.
The plane boarding desk were tougher. I realised early that I was way over the hand baggage limit, with loads of clothes in plastic bags, two rucksacks and a pair of binoculars. I decided to go last in the queue to try to make the staff feel more sorry for me and hopefully more lenient. Sound reasoning, but the gamble didn’t pay off. The woman told me my first bag was fine, then £35 per bag after that and that I was carrying four bags (and that I had to hurry up)! Some onlookers in the next queue gasped and watched for my next move.
Only me left to get on the plane. Rapid-style I started re-packing, again.
As I started putting on clothes more people started watching and laughing. First a hoodie, then a kilt, one of Sarah’s jackets went on and one round my waist. The ensemble was topped off nicely with a kilt jacket and the binoculars stuck up my top. Feeling chuffed I went to pay my £35, boiling, sweating and with some giggles from the crowd only to be told it was cash only – “And you’ll have to REALLY run, because we’re already late!”.
As I sprinted to the cash machine (for some reason carrying both rucksacks!), the rest of the airport lounge seemed to enjoy the sight. It felt like miles. They enjoyed it on the return leg too!
At the desk I was hurried along, I paid and elatedly started to head through the doors as loud applause and laughter broke out from the lounge. I turned, smiled and gave it a bit of the “Fucking-yeeeeaahh!” style arms! Quality – what a way to board a plane, feeling like a superhero!
On the runway I kept hearing “Hurry!” and “Run, run!”. I pegged it up the steps and onto the plane to be greeted by more passengers laughing at the sight of me.
All really rather good fun.